Numbers behind Google’s Search Engine
By Afia Ahmad
What is the capital of Slovenia? What is the 57th digit of Pi? What is ‘Hing’ in English? Where was the Game of Thrones shot? Can nanotechnology play a role in medicine? What is Elon Musk’s SpaceX?
If you don’t know the answers to these questions after all your classroom courses, your go-to source of information would be the trusty Google search engine on your phone or PC.
How does Google work?
With the World Wide Web packed with millions of pages of information, how does Google almost always find you the near perfect result? Before you even type out your search query, Google is busy at work behind the scenes. Google uses web crawlers to sort and organize webpages full of information.
The Google search index contains well over 100,000,000 gigabytes of information in the form of webpages. For every query there could be 52 million or more matching pages. Google has built a ranking system that has over 200 signals to determine the most relevant pages.
How much work does Google do?
There is an average of 60,852 searches made world over, per second on Google. That is about 1.92 trillion web searches per year. Each query has to travel an average of 1500 miles to the data centre and back to return the answer to the user. It is done by using 1000 computers in 0.2 seconds to retrieve an answer for every single query. 16-20% of the queries that get asked everyday have never been asked before, thus requiring further computations to find the best match in terms of results.
Since a web search is a complex system, precision evaluations are done with human raters to determine if changes need to be made to the ranking system (about 50,000 tests are done per year). For feature-oriented experiments, approximately 10,000 tests are conducted each year. Based on the results of these tests, at least 500 changes are made to Google Search every year, which is more than 1 per day, 1600 improvements were made in the year 2016 alone. No wonder Google has such importance in the world of digital marketing.
What makes Google, um, well Google?
Google is the largest search engine in the world with a steady market share of about 90%. Google has data centres located all over the globe in at least 5 of the 7 continents. As of March 2017, we do know that Google has 15 massive data centre campuses globally. Some of these enterprise cloud regions are on those campuses. It also has 6 enterprise cloud regions online and another 11 in the works.
Google has more than 100 small deployments for caching in leased spaces inside collocation facilities operated by data centre providers. Since there is no official data available on all of these facts, it has been estimated that Google has over 2.5 million servers (as of July 2016). It is also continuing to expand with over $30 billion dollars to be spent in the following three years for data centre expansions.
Google has changed the face of the internet in every way. With the talented teams working to constantly improve our searches and provide us relevant results, who knows what is in store in the future? All we can say is that it’s a great time to pursue a Google Digital Marketing course.